The 8th and final post of the 2014 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular coverage! Thanks to everyone that’s come to the site to see the coverage! Make sure to go to the top right hand corner of the site and subscribe to the blog!
That’s the look of a man having a good time at the drags. It’s one of my favorite parts of the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular each year to see Gene Winfield get to flag the races.
The drags as always brings a big crowd. Kudos to all involved to resolving the traffic issues from 2013. We were able to roll directly into the event and back out when it was time this year unlike previous years where you were watching your temp gauge and praying the whole way in and out because it was a complete traffic jam.
Continuing coverage of the 2014 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular from Salina, KS. Continuing my comments from yesterday, I would love this show to return to it’s roots, even though that would mean that my 63 Galaxie wouldn’t be allowed in. Comment below what you think of the show, and what background do you come from? Kustom guys seem to be thinking along the lines that I am, where as just car guys in general like the shows that have all types of cars.
The Drags have brought big crowds to the event but the diehard kustom folks don’t attend, and don’t support them. This is where I’m torn, I enjoy going except for when it’s as hot as it was this week, but I really could do without them. They are entertaining, and they bring a big crowd to the event. The drag photos start later in this post and continue tomorrow.
The 2014 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular was in town all weekend just in time for the first major heatwave of the summer here in Salina, KS. The 34th annual event was held in Salina for the 9th time, lots of cars showed up but not a lot of leadsleds or kustoms. Since the show’s registration requirements have opened up the show has grown but it’s lost a bit of clout in the kustom community. Some notable kustom car builders and owners have privately told me that they disagree with the bigger is better show rules and they long for the days when the show had strict rules for entry. I’d like to see the show like that again too. Not that the show is bad like it is now, just different.
Let the 2014 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular show coverage begin!!!
Most of Thursday was spent gathering up stuff for our booths, KKOA Leadsled Spectacular Set Up Day. After a quick run to a nearby town to pick up an electric fuel pump to get a buddy back on the road we packed our booths for the day and headed out to Bright Built Hot Rods for their Open House. Here are some photos from that event. Click Here to see all of the photos
Every year on the Wednesday before the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular, KKOA member and 2014 KKOA Hall Of Fame Nominee Rocky Burris throws a little get together at his home shop. This year had the added bonus of honoring the Leadsled Spectacular’s Grand Marshall and Kustom Legend Dave Stuckey. KKOA President Jerry Titus came down from the busy pre-show last minute work in Salina to tell us all some stories of working with Stuckey at Starbird’s Star Kustoms Shop back in the old days. Read the captions on each pic to get more of the story. Thank you Rocky for always inviting us all to the pre-party!
Again head back to Oakdale Park for the show opening up at 9 am (officially, but many show up well before that, I usually hit the park at 8am). We hang out all day at the show until it’s time to head up to the Run What Ya Brung Drags held right next to Dean Evans Stadium on Markley Road. At 1pm on the stage in the park is the Pinup Contest. The drags officially start at 5, but I will try to leave the park for the drags around 4pm.
Also Friday evening at Calvins Customs on Santa Fe is a party open to all KKOA participants, to get your car into the party you must have the show registration displayed in your windshield and to get into the shop where there is typically free beer (to those 21 and over) and some good eats, you need to be wearing your show wrist band.
Back to Oakdale Park for the biggest day of the show. The car counts and the crowds will be the biggest on Saturday. For those with kids coming along don’t forget that there is a really bitchin’ water park just east of Oakdale Park, this is a big show but sometimes you need something for the kids to do outside of the show, I understand. Also for the ladies, downtown Salina has a bunch of antique and unique shopping opportunities just a couple of blocks from the park.
Again at 1pm the Pinup Contest goes down, come and cheer on your favorite lovely lady.
Sunday is usually a fraction of the cars that were at the show on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a day to attend. Some of the best of the best kustoms around are all in the park on Sunday of the Leadsled Spectacular. Come hang out with kustom legends, see the awards ceremony and squeeze every last minute you can out of the KKOA weekend in Salina.
Good places to eat and drink in Salina.
JEFF MYERS – Lives and breathes kustoms, and his personal driver is a layin’ low, chopped ’57 Caddy hardtop, layered in purple candy. His “Premier Body & Paint Shop” in Arkansas City, Kansas is growing a kustom reputation to the level of the nationwide “hot” shop’s in the 50’s and 60’s. Sleds are his game, and ol’ skool kustoms like Dennis McPhail’ ’52 Chevy, and ’56 Chevy 2-dr. prove it. We here at KKOA also dig Jeff’s candy red ’63 Ford cement-slider.
Kool! Why he’s deserving! He dedicated, and many remember watching Jeff hammer his kustom touch on TV’ “Monster Garage” with Starbird, Winfield, and Jessie James, a few years back. Like I begun this with, and have to end it waaay to short, due to page space! Jeff Meyers is 100% kustom, 24-7, a fact you can bet on. He’s made his torch mark, and now he’s certainly deserving of the kool reputation he’s built, and does everyday in his land of Oz Kansas shop.
DICK HUCKANS – Dick is better known to his friend’s and follower’s as “The Bearded 1.” Starting at the age of 14, in a small shop in Van Nuys, California, Dick learned from the best how to do body work and paint. After learning the kustom body & paint trade, Dick moved from L.A. to Oklahoma in 1966 to pursue his famed The Bearded 1 Kustoms career, where he is today. His career leaned more toward his outstanding kustom paint theme’s, and his trick paint work could be found on just about anything thing in racing and kustomizing. From Sox & Martin pro stock championship cars to famed funny Car’s, drag boat’s, slingshot dragster’s, and super modified track cars. But, Dick’ love is the true kustom car, especially the leadsled’s. He’s built many for himself and customers over his 75-+ years, with one of his finest being Jack Walker’ unbelievable clone of Lyle Lake’ famed ’52 Buick The Blue Danube. Recently, Dick was inducted into the Darryl Starbird Hall of Fame & Museum.
RAY ERICKSON – Ray built his kustom career during the hey day of hotrodding in the mid-50’s, when the supreme task was to chop, channel, or section a kemp (car or truck). Remember those days? Born and raised in Salina, Kansas in 1928, Ray, along with his family moved to Kansas City in 1940 just as Ray was turning into a rebel with a cause teenager. Hotrodding was, and still is running through his veins, and in 1955 he was a founding member of the Kansas City Timing Association (KCTA). And, in 1956 he was a key player in hosting the NHRA Drag Racing Nationals. Later Ray would change the club name to the Cranktwisters.” Over the years he would build many hotrods and kustoms (’35 Chevy, ’49 Ford, ’34 Ford, etc.). One being a ’52 Ford, full kustom that he called “Whistle Bait” because it was his wife Joan’ daily driver. With a heavy chop and all the right touch’s it was easy to see why. Ray’ hard work paid off when a radical ’48 Merc he built and tagged the “La Hoya” made a full feature story in Car Craft magazine. Still living in K.C., Ray now chats on the Jalopy Journal H.A.M.B. about the good ol’ days, and many feel has paid his dues to the kustom kulture. So do we here at KKOA.
Jalopy Journal article on Ray
Kustomrama page on Ray
See you at a show,
Each year at the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular 2 new members are inducted into the KKOA Hall Of Fame. Since the show is just a few weeks away I thought I’d take the time to introduce you all to this year’s nominees. There are 9 total, here are the 2nd two on the list, see this post for the 1st two, and see this one for the 2nd two. When I have photos of their work I will show it and when I don’t I will link you to where you can see it.
FRITZ SCHENCK – Fritz was/is influenced by many of the greats of kustomizing, and he particularly likes the radical kustoms of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. He did a ground-up restoration on Roth’ original “Druid Princess”. and Roth’ “Pepi Bike Hauler, and he has built a perfect clone of Roth’ famed “Outlaw” roadster. However, the car that put him in the kustom spotlight and on many magazine covers, was his one-off original design creation “The Roswell Rod.”
Currently his newest creation is another one-off design, loaded with Fritz tricks and a Starbird style bubble on top. A few years back Fritz and his wife Carrol moved from Long Island, N.Y., to the ouskirts of Kansas City, and now both Fritz’s are busy doing exactly what they want to do! Build one-off kustom show rod creations, and produce how-to-build-kustoms video’s to help other up and comers create their dreams. Truly a complete kustom family.
GENE PIERCE – Fellow KKOA member James Fine felt compelled to notify the KKOA about a unsung hero living in his hometown of South Bend Indiana, and nominate him for a possible induction into the KKOA Hall of Fame. After researching Gene, KKOA has found that he’s not the kind of guy who toots his own horn, but his works speaks for himself. Gene chopped his first Merc when he was 15, and has even been offered a job by another Gene! The legendary Gene Winfield, a offer that he was honored to be asked. He works out of his two-stall shop (just like the good ol’ days), and treats customers with a quoted stick-to price. No hidden costs when they come to pick up their kustom. His credits range from many chopped and kustomized fat-fendered sedan’s and coupe’s, to layin’ low leadsled’s, to Fad-T hotrod roadster’s. Gene is a 100% traditional builder. His quality of work is exceptional, as verified by KKOA Hall of Famer, Mike Alexander (A-Brothers Team)
(note: I don’t have any photos of Gene’s work that I know of but I’ll do my best to get some next weekend at the KKOA.)
1 more post tomorrow with the final 3 nominees.
See you at a show,
LARRY GROBE, aka: “VooDoo Larry” – VooDoo Larry operates out of Schaumburg, Illinois, and has turned out some of the most original, innovative, unexpected and leading edge Kustoms you’ll ever see.
Larry is the personification of passion – passion for his work and the Kustom Kulture. He is the president and founder of the VooDoo Kings Car Club, a club that over the past 10 years has grown to membership that now extends to 6 different states. Although easily the King of Kool, Larry Grobe is one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you’ll ever meet.
“Speedy” BILL SMITH – The best way to explain Bill Smith is simply imagine “The Godfather of Hotrodding.” To many & most of his fans & customers it’s “Speedy” Bill, owner and still operator of America’ oldest and largest speed shop, Speedway Motors, located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Founded in 1952, Speedway Motors is a hotrodder’s friend, no matter what year hotrod or kustom you’re building. You want a a-dapt-tor kit, to hook a ’49 Caddie motor to a ’59, as Johnny Cash wailed, “Speedy” Bill probably has one sittin’ on the shelf in the massive warehouse of Speedway Motors. What a career Bill and Joyce Smith has built, and their shinning star on the hill is their Museum of American Speed that opened in 1992. Unbelievable is the best way to describe it. “Speedy” Bill Smith. It would be a honer to have him in the KKOA Hall of Fame.
The following are a couple of photos from a tour of the incredible Smith Collection in the museum at Speedway Motors.
I highly highly highly recommend a tour of the Smith Collection if you ever get the chance. It’s worth whatever drive it takes you to get there.
See you at a show,
Each year at the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular 2 new members are inducted into the KKOA Hall Of Fame. Since the show is just a few weeks away I thought I’d take the time to introduce you all to this year’s nominees. There are 9 total, here are the first two on the list. When I have photos of their work I will show it and when I don’t I will link you to where you can see it.
KEITH DEAN – Anybody who’s into kustomizing, especially the classic ’49-’51 Mercs knows there’s two famous “Dean’s!” The original rebel without a cause, James Dean, and the world famous kustomizer Dick Dean. Carrying on the torch in his late father’ footsteps, Keith has kept many high end kustoms rolling out the doors of his South End Kustom Shop, in Hemet, California, with many waiting in the wings.
One being the winner of the coveted 2011 KKOA 777 Custom Crown, owned by “Tranney” John Saltsman. A wild, space age ’49 Studebaker Pickup re-named the “Atomitron.” Keith’ gracious personality has offered his shop and time to be the one where the “Memories” 1954 Mercury project kustom is currently being built as a tribute to another late KKOA Hall of Famer Rich Pichette. When completed it will be titled to some lucky kustom kat, with the proceeds going to financially benefit Alzheimer’s Research. Great cause, great guy. Thanks Keith. see photos of the Memories project here
To hear an interview with Keith Dean on Jonnie King’s “Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame series click here.
DICK SCULLY – From his early days in the 50’s, customizing and wrenching in his grandmothers garage on wild customs of the “mod” 60’s and 70’s to custom hotrods and leadsleds Dick has been on the bleeding edge of style and innovation. His hands-on approach of fabrication, blown bubble tops, custom grills, stick steering controls, chopping, channeling and sectioning are just some of the things that he tackles willinging. Lacquer paint runs through his veins from when he started doing blends, lace, candies and fades for custom cars, hotrods, and race cars. His asymmetrical signature “ribbon” flames seemed to be his crowning touch and just one of the reasons for his loyal following. Dick’ early days of custom activity let him work solo, or with other great builders on projects that made many, many magazines. Like the “Electra”, the “X-Cel”, and the “Trendero.” The beauty of his career keeps him grounded in what he believes and what he wants to create. The passion for what he creates brings others to him for his talent and vision. Many believe that Dick deserves and belongs with the other great custom car and hot rod builders in the KKOA Hall of Fame.
See some examples of Dick Scully’s work go to Rik Hoving’s site here.
See you at a show,
Chad Kolman’s stunning 47 Buick at the 2012 Leadsled Spectacular, this ride won the coveted 777 Award last year.
Coming up at this year’s KKOA Leadsled Spectacular, the Royboy Award. Okay so the name might change, but the long and short of it is that I’m giving away an award at the KKOA this year. My idea is to find someone at the show that is younger than I am (38) and has brought a finished or under construction traditional style kustom, hot rod or gasser. No rat rods, no big billet wheels, no digital gauges. I will allow airbags, and other modern items as long as they don’t take away from the general vintage appearance.
I am working to gather up some sponsors to offer a prize pack as well as the award that my friends at the Sign House are helping me create. The goal is to give the winner a prize pack full of offers to save money in finishing their ride or building a new car. A 15% discount for any RJay’s Speed Shop built item (or 10% off items they sell but do not create) is the first prize that’s been offered up. Because you can’t have your ride looking good and yourself looking bad our friends at Devilles Barbershop in Wichita, KS have offered up a prize at well. I’m in contact with a couple of other companies to offer more discounts for paint work, body work, and hopefully a lot more.
If you have a company that would like to do a small part to help grow the industry by helping a younger car owner then send me a message to find out how to become a part of the prize pack!
See you at a show,
2012 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular DVD by Vintage Torque
For the last 3 years John Wells of Vintage Torque DVD‘s has filmed the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS and created a DVD of the weekend. For the whole run I’ve provided John with photos to use as a slideshow at the end of the DVD.
Here’s the trailer for the 2012 edition: